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  1. Default Month-long roadtrip by myself

    Does anyone have any advice for a 24 yr old female traveling alone across country for a month? Safety advice/warnings, camping areas, must see attractions? I will be traveling from San Francisco, CA. I do not want to stay in hotels at all. I am going to be camping or sleeping in my car (1969 VW bug) and getting food from grocery stores, I also have a small grill. I will be visiting Slab City but so far that's the only place I know of that has the kind of culture and people I'd like to meet along the way. I am not into the "touristy" places so much. More into the scenery where I can get some great pictures and memories, friendly people/fellow travelers, hippie areas where I can buy some authentic road souvenirs, National parks, safe campgrounds, etc. I'm very used to camping, etc and the back seat of my bug folds down into enough space for me to sleep comfortably with my stuff in the front seats. How much money should I plan on spending? Are there any places I should avoid? Any advice for me? I'd appreciate all the help I can get. Thanks!
    Last edited by atriptomyself; 03-24-2008 at 11:37 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Welcome

    Welcome to RoadTrip America. What you're planning sounds fantastic, hope you have a great time! I like the idea of 'wandering' the highways seeing where you end up. So long as you have a rough idea of where you need to be and by when that should work nicely.

    Have a read of this thread which is rammed full of links and advice on travelling alone. You already sound quite the expert on the camping side of things so you'll need to help there. You might also want to check this thread out too.

  3. Default Thanks

    Great I'll check those out. Thanks!

  4. #4

    Default No worries

    When you've finished reading through those you might like to have a read of the following:

    Bucks for the basics
    Free and cheap camping ideas

    Feel free to ask any questions that you may have.

  5. Default Just trying to figure out my route

    So I'm trying to figure out where I'm going to go and since I haven't been out of California except by plane this poses a problem. I am planning on traveling for about 3-4 weeks and staying on the west coast mainly. Any ideas on where to go and things to see? As I said in my first post I'm not interested in touristy areas. I'm mainly looking for scenery and "road-culture". Maybe a few must-see attractions along the way. I'm planning on starting in SF California and heading south, going no further East than New Mexico, back up north (maybe through the Dakota's, I haven't decided yet) and some states in between, then south through Oregon and back to California. I'd hate to drive all that way only to stay on highways and miss out on some great local places around where I'll be traveling so any ideas or tips would be appreciated. Thanks!!!

  6. Default Question about maps

    I read that Benchmark maps are good but are AAA maps a good option?

  7. #7

    Default Sorry, all I can offer is more links!

    Here is a small selection of my favourite roadtrip reports which I am sure will whet the appetite:

    San Francisco Loop
    From Yellowstone to the Redwood Forest
    Route 66 from Oatman to Williams
    Roadtrip through South Dakota

    You'll find many many more in the Getting Out There and Roadtrip Field Reports sections.

    I am afraid that I don't really have much experience with maps myself - I still have my original map that I bought back on my first visit in 2005 - but there is some advice to check out here - hope it's of help?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Sounds like a great trip you're planning!

    A gal after my own heart. LOL

    Have you heard about Quartzite? Having never been to Slab City or Quartzite, I'm not sure if they're similar in terms of types of people, etc. but it sounds like something worth checking out anyway.

    Safety/advise warnings? This solo roadtripping female just uses common-sense. The same "personal safety radar" I might use on a daily basis without even thinking about it, but I turn it up a notch or two since I'm in unfamiliar surroundings. It has served me well so far. In short, always be aware of your surroundings, don't go off to private areas with strangers, stay out of dark alleys, is you get that bad vibe/hair standing on back of neck feeling it's time to go NOW, etc.

    I do think it's a good idea to have someone at home that knows your general whereabouts. I typically call home regularly because it's easy to do with free cellphone minutes. I like to share what I'm seeing/doing with loved ones a bit. Even though I love to travel solo, I do sometimes yearn to share a funny story or a fantastic sight/experience I just had. But I also call to tell them where I'm staying for the night and where I plan to go the next day. This way, if I do disappear, someone has a general idea where to start looking. If you have a close family/friend to do this with, it's a good idea.

    If you're a member of AAA, go ahead and get their free maps. I'm always satisfied with them. Their free guidebooks are helpful, too, and will virtually pay for your membership right there. They have free camping books, too.

    Back to your's always hard to tell someone what they must-see as mine might be different than yours. I generally recommend that people start by pouring over a good map or atlas. Start marking all the places that intrigue you. Since you know you're interested in scenery/national parks, start with those. Add in any towns that intrigue you either because you've heard something about them or if just the name itself catches your eye. Usually a route becomes fairly apparent just by connecting the dots.

    It sounds to me like your trip is the perfect time for a meandering, no destination adventure. I might also suggest that you just get in the car and go. After leaving Slab City, just drive. If you don't want to drive on an interstate, don't. There are usually plenty of connecting, secondary roads. You might have the maps of things that interest you and generally work your way towards the places you want to see via this secondary roads, stopping and exploring at any place that catches your fancy.

  9. Default Thanks so much!

    Thanks for all your help! It's definitley making it easier to plan!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Glad we could help

    Please let us know how we can help you further. And please consider returning after your trip to let us know how it went, what you discovered, etc. I love to live vicariously through the roadtrips of others (as I never get away as often as I'd like myself.) Enjoy!

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